Want to improve your memory? Do you find you're often forgetful? Here are some techniques to help you remember more using fish, green tea, and other unexpected foods and tricks.
Train Your Brain
Like any other part of the body, if your brain gets stuck doing the same thing day in and day out, it could become lethargic and less agile. To keep the brain in top shape, seek out different experiences and challenge yourself to learn something new—whether it’s reading about a foreign topic, visiting foreign places, or trying out unfamiliar hobbies. New information will nourish your brain and support higher levels of functioning, very likely boosting your memory in the process.
If you have trouble remembering the names of new people you meet, think up a clue you can associate with a person to help you remember. For example, for a new acquaintance named Peter Bushnell, pick a physical feature—like his bushy beard—and create a mental picture associating Mr. Bushnell with his “bushy” beard. The wackier you get, the easier it’ll be to remember! Another trick is to write down information by hand several times: Your brain will associate the info with the motor memory of writing it, which will help activate what’s known as “working memory,” making it easier to remember.
Caffeinated beverages like coffee, tea, and soft drinks could help improve your ability to record memories, according to a 2014 study from Johns Hopkins University. Plus, researchers believe the perks could be long-term: Older adults who drink several cups of coffee per day have been shown to experience fewer memory problems than those who drink less. Conclusion: Go get your java on!
Yep, it’s true! Fish high in nutritious Omega-3 fatty acids can help keep your memory sharp. In fact, Omega-3s have been shown to be crucial for healthy brain function and development. Luckily, the varieties of fish containing Omega-3s are also some of the most delicious—salmon, tuna, halibut, and sardines. Incorporating fatty fish into your diet three times per week can go a long way toward preventing inflammation and damage to brain cells while improving memory.
The many healthy virtues of green tea have been enjoyed for centuries—but only recently has science thrown its support behind the beverage. A 2008 study found that green tea can help prevent age-related decline in cognitive abilities and mental sharpness. Just a couple servings of strong green tea per day can make a difference: Tea-drinking test subjects over 55 years old were less than half as likely to show signs of mental impairment as those who drank no green tea.
Ultra-healthful B vitamins are famous for their positive effects on the brain: Thiamine, niacin, B6, folate, and B12 all contribute to slowing the rate of brain shrinkage and declining memory in elderly patients. Get more B in your diet by eating lots of leafy greens, poultry, seafood, beef, lentils, nuts, seeds, and fruits (especially bananas).
Magnesium is essential in facilitating hundreds of bodily functions, and it can also help boost memory and prevent deterioration with age. You can get your recommended daily dose from a variety of beans, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and even dark chocolate!
Turn up the tunes for brain-boosting benefits! Studies show that listening to different styles of music can help with concentration and memory. It’s also believed that stimulating music, with faster beats, can provoke an even greater response from the brain.
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